Pres. Obama “Twitterer-in-Chief” (part one)

Yesterday, President Obama held a “Twitter Town Hall” where users were able to tweet questions at the President, several of which were selected for the President to answer, verbally, live on the air. Though the questions were diverse, ranging from jobs and the economy to the housing market and education, the President’s responses all came from his usual talking points. This, of course, allows the President a chance to “misrepresent” his “facts.”

“what are those things that are a waste that we shouldn’t be investing in because they’re not helping us grow or create jobs or creating new businesses.”

Not helping?  Sounds exactly like the EPA. Moving on, when asked about his handling of the recession, Obama brought up his “stimulus”:

“It was absolutely the right thing to do to put forward a Recovery Act that cut taxes for middle-class folks so they had more money in their pocket to get through the recession.  It was the right thing to do to provide assistance to states to make sure that they didn’t have to lay off teachers and cops and firefighters as quickly as they needed to.  And it was the right thing to do to try to rebuild our infrastructure and put people back to work building roads and bridges and so forth.”

As we’ve pointed out here, here, here, and here, the stimulus was not the right thing to do. Taking taxpayer dollars (or more accurately handing our children and grandchildren a bill) and shuffling the money around to various special interests and temporary “make work” projects did nothing to stimulate the economy; in fact, we’ve lost jobs during the President’s watch.

President Obama also mentioned giving money to states so that they “didn’t have to lay off teachers and cops and firefighters as quickly as they needed to.” More money shuffling that simply allowed states to avoid necessary budget restructuring.  Fortunately, many newly elected governors have taken on that challenge.

“It also was the right thing to do, although a tough decision, to save the auto industry, which is now profitable and gaining market share — the U.S. auto industry — for the first time in a very long time.”

The auto bailout gave the government control over how the industry filed for bankruptcy. The government decided who would get back their investments in the company and who would not.  The selected group of government winners? Unions, naturally, even though they were low priority creditors.  The auto bailout also cost taxpayers $14 billion dollars that they will never get back. And ironically, Ford, which did not receive a bailout, rebounded quicker.  You tell me whether it was the right thing to do.

“I think that — probably two things that I would do differently.  One would have been to explain to the American people that it was going to take a while for us to get out of this.  I think even I did not realize the magnitude, because most economists didn’t realize the magnitude, of the recession until fairly far into it, maybe two or three months into my presidency where we started realizing that we had lost 4 million jobs before I was even sworn in.”

First off, with access to the Department of Labor, how did he not know that 4 million jobs were lost before he came into office until he had been in office for several months?

The lack of explanation is his same excuse for why people don’t like Obamacare. There was a “failure of communication.” This is Obama-speak for “Americans are just too stupid to realize that I’m actually right.”

When speaking about manufacturing and tech jobs, the President said:

“Number one, are we investing in research and development in order to emphasize technology?  And a lot of that has to come from government.  That’s how the Internet got formed. That’s how GPS got formed.  Companies on their own can’t always finance the basic research because they can’t be assured that they’re going to get a return on it.”

As always with this President, government is the answer, and nothing can be done unless the government supports it. The government was a catalyst for what we now know as the Internet and GPS, but the commercialization, mass production and access was all done by private companies. The government was only developing these technologies for its own strategic use.

“Something like clean energy, for example.  For us not to be the leaders in investing in clean energy manufacturing so that wind turbines and solar panels are not only designed here in the United States but made here in the United States makes absolutely no sense.  We’ve got to invest in those areas for us to be successful.”

Again, it is more of the same: government spending and picking winners and losers. 

“As part of a higher education package that we passed last year, what we were able to do was to take away subsidies that were going to banks for serving as middlemen in the student loan program and funnel that to help young people, through Pell Grants and lower rates on student loans.  And so there are millions of students who are getting more affordable student loans and grants as a consequence of the steps that we’ve already taken.  This is about tens of billions of dollars’ worth of additional federal dollars that were going to banks are now going to students directly.”

It’s not all too often you hear a President brag about destroying an industry.

“And so working with university presidents to try to figure out, where can you cut costs — of course, it may mean that the food in the cafeteria is a little worse and the gym is not as fancy.  But I think all of us have to figure out a way to make sure that higher education is accessible for everybody.”

Healthy eating and exercise are what Michelle Obama is all about. Did her husband just undermine her? Seriously though, this is how far we’ve come – the President of the United States planning meals in college cafeterias.

“What’s happening now is, is that Congress is suggesting we may not vote to raise the debt ceiling.  If we do not, then the Treasury will run out of money.”

The Treasury will not “run out of money.” It will only be able to spend money as it comes in, in essence, live within its means. The government simply will not be able to borrow anymore.  Balanced budget anyone?

“It will not be able to pay the bills that are owing, and potentially the entire world capital markets could decide, you know what, the full faith and credit of the United States doesn’t mean anything.  And so our credit could be downgraded, interest rates could go drastically up, and it could cause a whole new spiral into a second recession, or worse.”

We’ve pointed out here, here, and here, this doomsday prediction is pure demagoguery. It should be clear to anyone in the business community – whether domestic or foreign – that the U.S. will not stop servicing its debt.  The only reason they may be confused is because of the administration’s ridiculous Armageddon predictions.

“We made the largest investment in clean energy in our history through the Recovery Act.  And so we put forward a range of programs that provided credits and grants to startup companies in areas like creating wind turbines, solar panels.”

He’s proud that he wasted billions of taxpayer dollars picking winners in the energy industry.

“When I came into office, advanced batteries, which are used, for example, in electric cars, we only accounted for 2 percent of the world market in advanced batteries.  And we have quintupled our market share, or even gone further, just over the last two years. And we’re projecting that we can get to 30 to 40 percent of that market.  That’s creating jobs all across the Midwest, all across America.”

FactCheck.org proved this one false. By 2015, the U.S. will have the capacity to produce 40% of advanced batteries, but will the demand be there by then? According to FactCheck, “Menahem Anderman, founder and president of Total Battery Consulting – said that the U.S. share would be about 10 percent by 2015.”

Unfortunately for the President, his proclamations and his policies contradict each other. He believes that the U.S. will be making substantially more advanced batteries in the next four years, but will his EPA allow it? These batteries leave an environmental footprint almost twice as large as a battery for a gasoline-powered vehicle.

And we’re just getting started.  This many “misrepresentations” and we’re not even halfway through the town hall! Stay tuned.

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